C-Movie: Fall in Love at First Kiss

I watched this movie after having failed to complete any of the First Kiss, Missin Kissin franchise thinking that a bite size version is what would work best for me. This turned out to be true. Unfortunately, this version was not that great.

My 8 year old and I watched this movie and not only did she pick up on the couples very unhealthy relationship (even by c-drama standards), but I had to keep telling her not to be like them if she liked someone later in life.

What made it unhealthy?

The lead girl was a complete stalker (my 8 y/o pointed this out to me, so you know it was bad) to the point where she had a picture of the guy on her blanket and pillow so she could faux spoon him during the night, plus a wall of memorabilia to him. And no matter how many times she was rejected (at least 20) she kept on pursuing the guy.

The lead guy was a jerk to her, which is most c-drama leads, but usually they turn nice by halfway through the show or movie. This guy called the girl stupid, told her not to to tell anyone they were living together, humiliated her, shooed her away repeatedly and even said he was marrying someone else. I mean come on. That might be considered love, if you’re dysfunctional, but it was just sort of pathetic to watch.

There were some cute moments, but not enough. And the idea we viewers were supposed to have, as pushed by the dialog, was that the lead guy became “more fun” because of the girl. And their relationship blossomed while he helped her study. Except none of that was obvious from the scenes they showed. There was no cute montage of them having fun together, and not only did she blackmail him into helping her, he mostly called her stupid the whole time.

The only highlights were lead actress Jelly Lin who was both believable and adorable and Kenji Chen (the second male lead), whose physical comedy was pretty entertaining.

I give this movie a 7/10.

Advertisements

K-Drama: My ID is Gangnam Beauty (7.3/10)

I know I am the last one to watch this drama. I don’t know why I was resistant to doing it, but now I know I wasn’t wrong.

I tried soooooo hard to like it. And there are parts of it I really like. The acting is good all around. I like the supporting characters. The production itself is high quality, the leading male is as attractive as the show keeps saying he is (he is very symmetrical), and the theme is unique and worthwhile to consider and discuss.

The first episode pulled me in and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. But at some point I feel like I was forcing myself to watch something I wasn’t that invested in.

It’s because I can’t stop thinking that the lead male is a giant jerk. I mean great that he likes this one girl and treats her well, but how special is that really when he is rude to almost everyone else. And the lead girl goes on about being treated badly as an ugly duckling, but pays no mind to the fact that he treats others girls feelings with insensitivity. Plus he is such a debbie downer.

I couldn’t stop thinking while watching it that if he wasn’t attractive he would be almost as unlikable as the glasses guy (aka the bad guy). If he were an unattractive guy it seems highly unlikely that the lead female would have put up with his coldness and unhealthy possessiveness. He showed up where he wasn’t invited t see her, always demanded to know what she was doing at places and why she hadn’t called him back. I mean, let’s get real, if he was ugly, she would have tired of his behavior with a quickness.

And the lead girl. Ahhh! Talk about a victim complex. I understand that she just wants to be normal, but full facial plastic surgery – that is obvious – is not exactly normal. How did she not realize that she may be subject to some looks, questions and ridicule?

I spent all 12 episodes that I watched wishing they would just dance more, which might’ve been the funnest part of this drama, the lead guy would take some happy pills, and the girl would just own her new face, walk with confidence and date whoever she wanted (even if he’s a jerk). Although she’d have to give up moralizing to keep from being a hypocrite, something that I luckily don’t have to do 😉

Maybe the last 4 episodes are the best and I am missing out big time. And maybe I’ll watch them one day, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I would spend most of it wanting to call the whaambulance on them, and end up less than excited about their predictable and eventual coupling. If that happens it’s hard to imagine that I could end the drama with the same level of joy I normally get from a happily ever after.

Sorry to be so negative about this. but I think that’s the mood the drama put me in 😦 Hopefully you all had a more positive viewing experience.

C-Drama: Nice to Meet You (1st impressions)

Nice to Meet You is ending this week, which I think is always a perfect time to start a show, so that is exactly what I did.

I started episode 1, which began with some serious drama. It was a wedding and the groom was apparently hurt by the bride, and so he humiliated her in front of everyone before hurling a ring into the water outside. It was a really good start. It made me wonder what happened and want to watch to find out.

But then it went downhill, FAST. Before I tell you how, here is the plot, care of MDL:

An aspiring designer almost loses everything due to a scheme to take her down. She meets the successor of a premier jeweler that paves the way for a sizzling romance. Gao Jie has always dreamed of becoming a jewelry designer, so she packs up her bags to find work at a mining company in South America. She falls in love with Yu Zhi, the successor of Shengfeng Jewelry. Things do not gosmoothly for Gao Jie after returning to China, but in order to pursue her passion, she gets a job at Shengfeng. Shengfeng used to be the gold label in the industry. However, fierce competition from Western jewelers has reduced the brand’s prominence over the years. To get the company back to its former glory, Yu Zhi breaks tradition by focusing on Western designs. After Gao Jie joins Shengfeng, she becomes fascinated with the exquisite beauty of traditional Chinese jewelry and becomes set on creating designs that fuse Eastern and Western influences. Alas, their cooperation and budding romance encounter roadblocks due to Yu Zhi’s stepmother, Mu Zi Yun. She is also Gao Jie’s aunt who has been conspiring to take over the company.

How did it go downhill so fast you ask. My answer: It got so cheesy, pizza couldn’t rival it. The lead was introduced as he was rock climbing, where he almost fell, but righted himself with his massive (and by that I mean medium sized) muscles. The viewers are clearly supposed to come away seeing him as a strong adventurous type. He then sees the female lead at a club and is immediately interested. He manages to save her from her lecherous boss a short time later, then they part ways. The following morning her awful boss forces her to go to a jungle mine which wasn’t safe. Next thing you know men jump out at her crew and beat them all up (not clear why, maybe to steal what they got from the mine, but I don’t think they’d arrived yet, so it’s a head scratcher) and she runs away and ends up falling down a hill into the water.

Cue the adventurous hero who saves her, and just happens to have tents and a guide with him making running from a jungle gang into a camping experience. But despite the male lead saving her and having necessary jungle equipment and acting gentlemanly towards her, the girl decides to head back by herself. So dumb! She is quickly confronted by a giant python which the male lead saves her from (I told you it was cheesy).

The leads end up together in the jungle, no idea where the guide went, and the female starts to have the feels for the male after he shows her a “tree of life,” which just looked like one of a hundred jungle trees to me, but what do I know.

By this point I was barely hanging on. I had filled my cheese quota for the day, but I kept watching because it could get better, plus what happened to make their wedding so cray. I really want to know. But then the male lead got into the water to bathe (this was ok, shirtless is good says the cougar blogger) and tilted his head back, and at that moment I thought to myself PLEASE DO NOT DO WHAT I THINK YOU’RE GOING TO DO BECAUSE IT’S JUST TOO CHEESY AND I CANT TAKE ANY MORE. And whattaya know, he did it. The male lead came up out of the water like Ariel in the little mermaid and tossed his hair as water flew off him in what was supposed to be a “moment”, but was sooooo ridiculous I have no words for it.

And imagining 49 more episodes like that (49!) does not bring me to my happy place. Maybe it gets better. Usually I give a show more of a chance to reel me in than I’ve given this one so far, so maybe I’ll pick it back up, just to blog it or I could turn it into a drinking game, which is always fun with terrible thing, to drink every time they do something hokey. Although, my low tolerance probably couldn’t handle it if the story stays as corny as it was in episode 1.

K-Drama: The Package (9.4/10)

This drama is lovely, lovely, lovely!

It’s also unique in that much of it is different from a typical K-drama, and more in line with a well-written, well-directed and well-acted American one. The merger of the two types really makes it great.

Things that make The Package different are that most of the scenes are filmed in France, rather than Korea, which I loved since France is amazing. Some scenes included French history in bite size, and made me want to visit a lot of the locations where they went. It is also more risque than most k-drama’s (i.e. they hint at love scenes and go as far as showing some bare skin). The female lead also sounds fairly philosophical at times, which reminds me of a lot of c-dramas, since they use a lot with proverbs and poetic language (something I really like about them). And the overall vibe is mature in the best way, giving me the same feeling I get from sitting with friends, watching the sunset and talking about life over a glass of wine.

Note: Telling you it’s mature and that there are philosophical parts may make you think this drama is dreary or overly-intellectual. It is not. It is interesting, thoughtful, charming and funny (and the funny moments are hilarious. I already thought chastity belts were funny things, but after seeing this, I will never be able to see or think of one without laughing).

The drama is about a Korean woman who is a tour guide for package vacations in France and a group which she is guiding. I know that doesn’t sound like an exciting plot, but each character is written very realistically, like someone you know or could know, and so are their relationships with each other. So much so, that I dare you not to think about your own family, friends, partners and ex-partners while you watch.

The stories of the group members are woven in really beautifully, making each of them interesting to watch. And of course there is the love story between the leads which is also unique and sweet. The lead male is none other than Jung Yong Hwa of You’re Beautiful fame, who I have a mad k-crush on because he just seems sweet as pie no matter what character he plays. He is older in this, but still absolutely adorable. So much so that if his character asked me move to Korea for him, I probably would.

The lead female Lee Yun Hee also did a great job. Her character has some depth, in that it was slightly flawed emotionally but still very cool and likable.

Other actors included Yoon Park, who is very talented and was my absolute favorite in Introverted Boss (here’s my review), and Choi Woo Shik who was in Fight for My Way, which is one of my favorite dramas (which I will review at some point).

The Package is really good, which is why I rated it so high. One of its best qualities is that you never know what is going to happen next or how a character will react. It also made me wish I could I could be a part of their group by the end – and I hate package vacations! The OST is pretty good too.

My only real major critiques are that they had to use the fate cliche, which I am not a fan of, and the tempo could have been faster. It was more of a slow, meandering walk than a jog, which is all my attention span has patience for these days. Honestly though, it wasn’t that much of an issue.

Bonus: This drama redeemed director Kim Jim Wong, who also directed the Innocent Man, which I loathed.

C-Drama: Pretty Li Hui Zhen (to finish or not to finish, that is the question)

Pretty Li Hui Zhen is the Chinese remake of K-drama She Was Pretty.

The reason I don’t if know if I should drop it or continue is because the plot is copied almost word for word from She Was Pretty, which I’ve already seen, so I feel like I’m re-watching the exact same drama again, except it’s approximately 30 episodes long. And it’s in Mandarin and the stars are different.

This version stars Dilraba and Peter Sheng. Dilbraba does a great job of acting and looking unpretty. She even walks funny. And it’s hard not to root for her. She also wears some of the ugliest clothing I’ve ever seen, so bad I can’t even look at her in some episodes.

Her co-star is Peter Sheng does a good job, but he’s a little too rigid for me, and let’s be honest, not many actors, Chinese or otherwise can do as good a job or better than Park Seo Joon. In my very biased opinion, Aaron Yan was meant for this role because he is the only one who could have rivaled Park’s k-drama performance. But sadly it didn’t happen amd bless his heart, Sheng did his best.

The question is, do I slog through approximately 15 more episodes because I really like Dilraba and want to see her makeover or do I call it a day because I have many other things to do to fill the time? Or maybe I skip to the last few episodes…

Hmm.

The Drama I’d Rather Have a Root Canal than Watch Again

Oh where to start…

I really like the actor Blue Lan. My opinion is that he is a talented actor who doesnt know how to pick non-action dramas to save his life, which is why most of his work rates between 6-7. So, if I want to watch anything with him in it, I have to lower my standards – a lot. This is exactly what I did when I watched Apple in My Eye which is Taiwanese and rated 7.

Honestly, the plot sounded akward as hell (i.e. quasi incestuous), but the main pic for it was cute, it sounded like something with some depth, with prospects for a happily ever after that would make my heart happy.

Plot (care of MDL):
The Zhou family has high hopes in giving birth to a son, but was disappointed when Zhou Ji Wei was born a girl, making her the third daughter in line. Because she was a disappointment to the family, she was only ever given hand me downs from her sisters. She felt no love from her family, but luckily she feels the love of a family from her neighbor especially Dai Nai Nai. There she meets her ‘brother’ Dai Yao Qi and follows him around trying to be the best sister ever, however he has never wanted to have a sister. As she tries her best to be close to him as his sister, she slowly realizes the feelings she holds for him are not love for a brother but something more.

As far as production value and acting goes, I think it was pretty good. Both leads did a great job! So why would I rather put up with a horrifying dentist visit than watch it again?

Reason 1) There are two love triangles. One is fairly normal where two females fight for the guy. The other is CRAY. The guy is a nutcase with violent tendencies.

Note: Spoilers ahead, ones you should read if you want to be saved from the nightmare of watching this drama.

Reason 2) After the pair were separated for a long amount of time due to misunderstandings etc etc, they finally met back up and their love started to blossom, and the 3rds in their love triangles were vanquished, and the only thing left to do was to get married and live a life of happy mediocrity together, BUT THEN they break up so the guy can save face or some such blather. The girl is heartbroken which makes me as a viewer heartbroken. Then the writers add insult to injury and hint that the girl ends up married to the other part of her love triangle, THE PSYCHO! I mean WHAT? SMH. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? HOW IS THIS OK?

That was the ending I got after investing hours of my life into this drama, and getting excited that the end was close and the leads would finally be together. That ending left me so unfulfilled, and sad, and mad. WORST ENDING EVER.

No More Love Triangles, Please!

When I started watching C-dramas and K-dramas I had a high patience quotient for love triangles, but those days have come and gone.

It’s very realistic that some people have unrequited love or go after someone who isn’t emotionally available to them. That’s what my teen years were about lol, so I can appreciate it being portrayed in dramas, BUT I am so tired of watching people get rejected. It doesn’t give me warm fuzzy feelings to watch a lead crush the heart of the second lead or humiliate them. Some are so villainous that I can bear it out, but a lot of times the punishment the second lead gets is worse than their crimes.

For instance I love Queen in Hyun’s Mans, how could I not, but I loved it less for the way it handled the second lead. Sure Choi Hee Jin’s ex was an egotistical ass and broke up with her for jerky reasons, and for that I was willing to see him fail at getting her back. But then, when Choi Hee Jin forgot the lead because time started over (I won’t explain because I can’t lol, just watch it if you haven’t yet 🙂 he got on his knees and begged her for forgiveness and they began a healthy happy relationship, then the main lead comes back and she not only drops the second lead, but humiliates him completely. Not only does he find a guy in her bedroom, the guy squirts him with water, tells him he is taking his woman, and locks him in a shower while his girlfriend laughs at him, leaves him there and goes to spend the night with the other man.  I mean, OUCH!

There are also second leads that go off their rockers, like in Something About the 1% where the seemingly rational woman shows up, goes after the guy and 10 seconds later she becomes a kidnapper. And it seems like these issues could be prevented, prior to abductions and violence, if the leads were just a tad bit firmer about their disinterest. Except writers seem to think this is what makes dramas interesting. Maybe they’re right. I am only one person, what do I know, but I disagree with them.

I want less of this. Especially since I really don’t think it furthers most plots in any good way. In C-dramas they make up the 10 episodes too many that turn a drama from a great one into something mediocre or fast forward worthy. And in K-dramas they’re distracting from what I really want to see which is a mushy love story, and some interesting plot lines about school, politics, law, family etc. I’ll even settle for mean moms, riches to rags, or amnesia over most love triangles.

If you know of any dramas WITHOUT immature love triangles, I would love to know about them because I am going on boycott until further notice.

Or trying to at least.